Five Places for Hiding Medications After a Disaster
Medical Prepping & DIY Tips
Courtesy of USPreppers.com
When one talks disaster prepping, conversation tends to circulate around the topic of storage. Storage of food, water, guns and even electrical power but storing and hiding medications that so many depend on daily doesn’t garner nearly as much discussion. First aid kits – and how to stock them – does enjoy a respectable amount of airtime, but what about maintaining a supply of prescription medications used to keep a multitude of medical conditions in check from diabetes to high blood pressure to depression among a great many others? What are their storage requirements? And due to the demand for such medications as antibiotics and antivirals and the addictive nature of narcotic-based pain relievers, how can these vital supplies be kept secure from theft?
It is an unfortunate reality of disasters that panic does take hold of particular segments of society which can lead to disturbing behaviors with individuals looting everything of value. Looting reduces supplies and drives up demand for particular goods like medications. As individual desperation for meds increases, so do the lengths people will go, to get what they need. Because of this aspect of human nature preppers need to secure these items of importance.
Hiding Medications – First Things First
Before spiriting away those various bottles and vials of precious medications into any given cubbyhole, there are a few considerations to account for first. Not unlike emergency stockpiles of food the conditions pharmaceuticals are stored will either reduce or ensure their longevity. Medications store best in a cool, dark places.
Broad fluctuations in temperatures will reduce their efficacy while others will degradation under prolonged exposure to light. Humidity is also a negative factor, so a dry location is essential. Keep in mind some medications have inherently short shelf-lives making them poor candidates for stockpiling. In these cases consult a physician about possible alternatives.
Camouflage is Key
Let camouflage show you the way. While it is tempting to stow everything of value away in a metal container and bury it five feet deep next to the fallen oak tree, eleven paces from the broadside of the barn, the reality is these items of value are also things someone in the family needs every day. So the best strategy for hiding medications is to secure them in a location accessible on a regular basis. This necessity makes camouflage key.
Camouflage in this sense means concealment amidst normal surroundings, within a typical living space where your family will take refuge during a disaster. The hiding space would simply appear as a natural part of the surroundings. Step into any given room, look around and utilizing that imaginative mind picture the voids where a cache of medications or any set of valuables could be concealed.
#1 Bathroom Sink:
Here is a great video on hiding medications under a sink:
#2 Books and Bookcases:
This conjurers up an array of cliche’s from a hollowed out book to a hidden space behind faux book spines to even a whole room set behind a case of sliding shelves. Cliche, yes but effective nonetheless. Depending on the space needed hollowing out the pages of several books provides the cool, dry, dark spot appropriate for hiding medications. Going all out and concealing an entrance to a room or a closet offers a larger space that can be separately climate controlled and hidden away from the casual eye.
#3 Floors, Walls and Cabinets:
This video on hiding medications under a vent using a magnet and fishing line is a favorite!
The spaces between walls, under floorboards and existing cabinetry offer a variety of hiding places. The access points are concealed by false backs in cabinets, under floorboards and portions of walls that set seamlessly into the original.
While under a stairwell is an obvious location, what about within individual stair steps? Each step could serve as individual compartments accessed through the vertical riser. Or expand on this idea with several steps making up one opening that when pulled up reveals a larger space.
#5 False Features:
This is a catch-all which is limited only by the imagination. Any feature within a given home or other shelter space has a potential to be a false feature that conceals a hiding spot. Consider false heating and cooling vents, false walls that cover entry into a basement that serves a primary storage area, false electrical outlets, and fake piping.
– Special Thanks to Brian Carter of USPREPPERS.COM for this guest post!
Brian Carter is a top contributor for the prepper website uspreppers.com.